Friday, September 4, 2020

What's Up With The Carter Page Woods File?

A few days ago, September 1st to be exact, Sara Carter broke a story about the Woods file re the Carter Page FISA going missing, and having to be recreated by Team Mueller. Or something like that:

Carter Page’s FISA Related ‘Woods File’ Docs Disappeared, Was It ‘Malice Or Incompetence’

Unfortunately, from Carter's account it's difficult to be sure exactly what the story is. Here's how Carter explains it:

The original Woods file on former campaign advisor Carter Page went missing more than two years ago, and according to sources who spoke to, those documents had to be recreated by the FBI and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2018 from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application used by the bureau to obtain the warrant on Page.

In other words, Carter is saying that the entire Woods file went missing and had to be recreated. The way that would work would be like reverse engineering: You look at the actual FISA application, figure out what statements needed to be supported with a reference to a case document, and include that document.

Just to be clear about what the Woods file actually is, here's Shipwreckedcrew's good explanation from Did Mueller Prosecutors Know of Problems With Carter Page FISA, Approved It Anyway, and Later “Recreated” The “Woods File” To Cover Up The Misconduct?

As a refresher readers should understand that the “Woods File” is a process by which the FBI case agent on a FISA application documents a source for every factual allegation set forth in the application.  ...
The purpose of having the file is so that when third parties — supervisors, subsequent case agents, other agencies — who review the affidavit and have questions about a particular allegation, they can go to the Woods File and find the specific documents from which the allegation was sourced.  The file is not intended to “prove” the allegation true — only that the allegation has a source, and what that source is.

Notice this: The specific documents included in the Woods file exist separately in the case file--they're not unique to the Woods file, but are copied to the Woods file. In other words, if the Woods file goes missing--and please, we all know electronic files don't go missing--then it should be entirely feasible to reconstruct the Woods file, mimicking the original process. So what's the problem?

As I see it, the real problem is if you go to the case file and the original documents ... have also gone missing!

That's what Paul Sperry claims is going on, and to me it makes more sense:

Paul Sperry
BREAKING: Several documents are missing from the Woods File for both the 2nd and 3rd renewal applications for Carter Page FISA warrant, and in lieu of some of the documents, the FBI inserted a piece of paper as a "placeholder" to represent the supporting document that is missing. 
10:33 AM · Sep 4, 2020·

That means that when the reverse engineers went to the case file to find the document that needed to be copied to the Woods file they couldn't find several of the documents.

Since electronic documents don't just "go missing"--and I like the way SWC puts this:

Where to begin? 
How about with the “disappearance” of an electronic file in a system where nothing disappears?

we're left to assume that somebody really didn't want those documents to be available. They didn't just go missing from the Woods file, they went missing from the case file, too. Of course, in an electronic file system, you might not really have a copy--just a link to the one document. But again--that link doesn't just go missing unless someone makes it go missing, and my guess is that it takes a very high level of authority to get that done. If it's possible at all.

If there's a problem here, then I think Sperry's version makes the most sense. The Woods file is more a matter of convenience and quality control than anything else. Ultimately, as long as the case file is complete, it should be recoverable. But how does the case file become incomplete? There's no digital Bu-dog that roams the Sentinel file system devouring the agents' homework.

But wouldn't you expect that the Sentinel file system would record someone causing a file to "go missing"? Something--actually a lot of things--are not adding up.


  1. What if the Woods file never existed in the first place? Or none of the supporting documents were ever filed, either?

    I understand that FBI procedures demand the creation of a Woods file, but suppose those procedures weren't followed? Kinda like a lot of other stuff that the SCO did....

    If that's the case, nobody deleted anything because it was never there to begin with.

    1. I agree. In my industry we have strict rules and procedures with lots of paper trail. But when the senior execs wants something fast a lot of that gets bypassed.

  2. How about this scenario: the Woods file never had the source documents in the first place because there were no "source" documents -- FBI hadn't done any real vetting prior to filing the FISA.

    Somebody got worried, and realized after the election that their butts were hanging out over Wile E. Coyote's canyon of despair because they filed a FISA application without ever submitting source documents to the Sentinel system and the Woods File (because there weren't any sources -- it was all hearsay gossip!)

    So what was the solution to cover their overhanging butts?

    Create the illusion that the file HAD existed previously, and had magically disappeared (along with the source documents themselves,) and then they reverse engineer the Woods file documents from the FISA application. That makes the tardy submission dates in Sentinel Database for the Woods File documents appear more anodyne.

    "The Dog ate our homework; honest injun, professor! We. just recreated the homework, which is why the dates are all past when the homework assignment was due. But trust us, it was all there before the dog ate it."

    That's what I think this was all about. They never populated the Woods file because there were no real source documents for the CP FISA allegations, but it was no big deal because Hillary was going to win, and nobody would ever find out.

    This scenario explains why Clinesmith went completely bonkers after the election, writing a text message (or email?) complaining that "his signature was all over the documents related to spying on the Trump campaign."

    And that answers SWC's latest rhetorical question:

    >> shipwreckedcrew

    If the IG didn't know the Woods File had been recreated by the SCO.

    If the Senate Intell Comm didn't know the Woods File had been recreated.

    But DOJ and FBI told the SSCI this week.

    Who could have told DOJ and FBI what the SCO had done?

    Andrew, you have any thoughts?
    8:01 PM · Sep 4, 2020·Twitter Web App <<

    Clinesmith told Durham, Durham told Barr and FBI.

    And that likely explains at least ONE reason why Andrew Weissmann has been throwing hysterical hissy fits ever since Clinesmith's plea became public knowledge. He is hovering over Wile E. Coyote's Canyon of Despair with no visible means of support.

    1. I think the Woods file did exist.

      The reason Pientka didn't tell anyone about this is probably because Pientka was never part of Team Mueller, when whatever happened, happened.

      I wonder whether the entire file was destroyed and then recreated--minus the 2-3 critical pages. What was on them? The reason the whole file would be destroyed would be to offer an excuse--we did our best to recreate the whole thing from scratch and we did pretty well but, darn it, turns out a few docs went missing.

    2. Then the question is, who decided on this, and that could be where Weissmann comes in.

    3. I wonder what level of note-taking a reviewer like Stu Evans keeps when going through the process? I hope Stu has a great memory, extensive notes or both to help fill in the blanks on what was in the files and when.

    4. But, Mark, Hero of The #Resistance Strzok says he "never heard anyone say 'Make something up' or 'Cut corners' or 'Don’t include this fact.' That was just not part of the culture. That sounds a little Boy Scout–ish, but that is the organizational ethos that I saw day in and day out."

  3. Mark, claims such as "the FBI inserted a piece of paper as a "placeholder" to represent the supporting document", and
    "my guess is that it takes a very high level of authority to get that done. If it's possible at all",
    lead to practical questions, about which you may know much:
    1) when a paper document is first put into the FBI cabinet drawer, is this act, that very day, recorded in a database, and/or on a separate document?
    2) likewise, when they must insert a "placeholder", is a similar procedure required?
    3) are such cabinets only under lock & key, or are the rooms under armed guard?

    1. I'm just not sure how this would have worked. Normally all this would be handled by support people. However we know that when Gaeta sent his dossier reports to NY, the NY division counsel kept them. Was something like that done at HQ? We can only speculate, but I assume Durham knows.

  4. Horowitz says the FBI could not locate that supporting documentation, known as a Woods File, in four of the 29 cases. In three of those instances, the IG says, the FBI did not know whether the files ever existed.

    Under Comey/Mueller, Woods file (read: evidence) expulsion seems to be a skill set taught in new-agent training? They can add that to the next Silence of the Lamb sequel.

  5. There must be audit logs which detail who did what when. It would be very difficult to destroy those logs.

    Even on my company's computer system, there are logs which no one can touch, and that's just a simple business system.

    1. Exactly. Which is why it's so hard to accept what's being said. It should be a fairly simple matter to check those logs.

      Recall the repeated assertions that no "original" Flynn 302 exists, but Powell keeps saying that's not possible. I think she's right. I think SWC's right. I think you're right. Beyond the logs there would be multiple backups and every conceivable safeguard--we're talking about an LE investigative computer system designed to preserve evidence and prevent exactly any sort of "dog ate my homework" situation. Doesn't remotely pass the sniff test.

    2. Such computer systems are specifically designed and operated in a manner that would generate not only onsite back-ups, but offsite archives, for disaster recovery. Once a file exists long enough to be captured by the back-up and archival processes, there's no way they could not recover it, unless the back-up/archival process was corrupted (Clinton WH email system that "lost" a million emails, due to the back=system server name being in the wrong upper/lower case, despite the fact that the system automatically would have generated the correct back-up server name ... IOW, somebody had to manually over-ride the system to create the incorrect case lettering of the back-up server.)

      So, either there never was an original any Woods file, and the retro fabricated one to cover their butts, or there was one that had things they needed to hide, so the orchestrated the files disappearing and recreated it to cover whatever the wanted to hide, or the files magically disappeared all on their own.

      "Computer glitch."

      Sort of like the claim that the FBI text message archival system somehow magically stopped archiving text messages during the critical time period after the election, and nobody seemed to notice it for months on end.

      See also: IRS official Lois Lerner whose MULTIPLE hard drives all self-destructed after the Tea Party scandal was being investigated, and none of the files could be recovered, and the technicians destroyed the drives.

    3. But shouldn't there be longs of all that activity--short of physical destruction as you describe? And offsite archives? Isn't that how Wall Street works, and wouldn't the Feds, also?

    4. Should be logs... But depending how the system was designed, stop level admin could delete files and potentially edit thelog files, as well as file dates & times.

      Also, sophisticate hacking tools could be used internally to accomplish such manipulations, leaving few breadcrumbs.

    5. Well, they'd have the sophisticated hacking tools. But more than just one person would know about it. Probably a small group ~ 1-5.

    6. >> Probably a small group ~ 1-5. <<

      A conspiracy by any other name smells just as sweet.

    7. That's right--although not all 5 need be co-conspirators--they'd just have knowledge. I figure it this way. Probably minimum 2 lawyers/agents would have to be in on it. But then they'd need to be put in touch with someone who could actually do it. That might require someone in management to find someone with the skills. You're up to 4 at minimum. If Clinesmith told Durham about this--as SWC thinks--you can see that the inner circle of knowledge is probably minimum 3.

    8. Another thought... re: the IG report not making an issue out of a missing/"retro-engineered" Woods File for the CP FISA -- I have long suspected that Horowitz, at Barr/Durham's request, removed a mountain of damning evidence he uncovered and which was in the draft report, so as to not tip off suspects before Durham could interview them and get them locked into their "story."

      This could be one of the things he found, and removed for the OIG report, so as to not screw-up Durham's criminal probe.

      And now for the smoking gun:

      If you lose something important -- like the Woods file for a FISA on a presidentiual campaign volunteer, who is the first person you are going to talk to? The IT department to see if they can recover it.

      And if that doesn't work, who is second on the list? The person who created the Woods file initially (assuming it existed at all.)

      That individual would know most of the answers as to which documents were relied upon for each assertion in the FISA application, and it would be the least amount of work, with little or no "reverse engineering," to reconstruct the Woods file, if it somehow just disappeared in the "bit bucket."

      I'm betting they never asked who ever was responsible for the Woods file for help rebuilding it.

      Which means either there never was a Woods file to begin with, and the "dog ate my Woods file" is just cover for after the fact creation of a file that should have existed, but didn't before the FISA application was submitted, or, if it did exist, the "dog ate my Woods file" was the pretext to rebuild it and lose some inconvenient documents, which could explain why they didn't bother contacting the person responsible for the Woods file that was putatively eaten by the FBI pet HQ dog.

    9. That's possible. Recall--Durham was actually working on some of this as early as late summer 2018. IOW, before Barr was even nominated. Nobody really knows what he was doing, but it's possible that he was looking at criminal stuff Horowitz had uncovered but couldn't pursue adequately with the means at his disposal (IG investigations are much more circumscribed).

  6. Why was this lack of documentation not noted in the IG report?

    1. The only part that the IG would have noticed is that 2-3 of the originals were missing. That should have raised alarms. I'm not sure what the story is.

    2. A quick search in the OIG report does show that they consulted the Woods file that they had--presumably the 'recreated' one--regularly, and criticized the FBI based on that.

  7. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

  8. Here I go OT again, but I’ve read a lot lately how the Dem operations this year closely track, or at least attempt as best they can, those of the “color revolutions” we’ve seen manufactured in Ukraine and elsewhere. I’ve found the argument fairly convincing, and now Michael Anton has a good piece out that in part discusses the same topic.

    I mention this theme of a color revolution being attempted by the Dems only because I’d like to know if you or any readers have also seen it and have any thoughts on it.

    1. I saw a report that Antifa related groups are planning "protests" in 23 cities. Incredibly good news for Trump. Just as he's rolling out terrific ads highlighting the Dems ties to the crazies.

    2. It really is desperation - total Hail Mary stuff.

      That recent Rochester video needs to be put in front of as many eyeballs as possible, with some sort of message or question attached that makes it clear a vote for Biden and the Dems is a vote for this scene in Rochester to become the new America. I just don’t see how most people can vote Dem if they realize that this really is who and what they are.

    3. Link to Rochester video:

    4. Agreed. That's why I think plans for more such antics is playing right into Trump's hands. And he's fanning the flames by going after anti-white indoctrination in the federal government.

    5. For me it relates to

    6. Yeah, Anton dies it again!
      "the most important thing we can do is raise awareness."
      Esp. of *all* aspects of the stakes, incl. the prospect of a renewed SparkleFarts deployment of the DS, to crush Const. liberties, one and for all.

      Here, Barr's ability to bring SpyGate fireworks "by summer's end" could matter hugely.
      How much energy will Righties be able to bring, into enlightening folks about the coming DS tyranny, if Barr is seen as still, at *very most*, playing by Marquess of Queensberry Rules?
      Until we start seeing busts, I fear that too many Righties will presume that Barr is too *hampered* by DS power, to do anything more than go thru motions, in pursuit of the Crime Spree of the century.

      Under such circumstances, I'll expect Righties to bring lukewarm energy into thwarting the scenarios Anton describes (compared to the energy they'd bring, if Barr rocks the world with such Fireworks).
      (It's brutal to see even Fox pile onto DJT, about this Atlantic article BS.)

    7. I served 20 years in the Corps. I could never see the military following anything but the constitution. Biden is talking about the dem successful ruining the election to the point were the vote goes to the house. And they're expecting the military to follow the constitution.
      I do know a lot of men, 10s of thousands, who have been to actual war who are Trump supporters. So its going to be interesting.
      My off topic is that I had Labor day as the due date on Durham and I'm sad nothing's happened.

    8. And, the longer the Barr delay, the more heart the Left takes from the likelihood that Barr is stuck in mud, and the more (esp. potential activist) fence-sitters flock toward the Left.

    9. I’ll free you from my game of comment tag :) after this, but yes, I’m totally with you. They desperately hope to make the fear and anger they create work for them. They think if they can convince the voters that worse violence is coming and the only way to stop it quickly is to make sure that YOUR party is the one in power when it does, they can make the horror show that is the Biden-Harris ticket a relatively minor point and get people to just vote Party and nothing else. And I imagine they hope to get a zillion new D voters to the polls this way, also, but like you, I see all this leading to pure boomerang, big time.

      On the ballot fraud front, food for thought is that DeSantis has FL set up so that almost all votes will be counted on election night. If Trump outperforms there and in other states that will have things counted quickly, it will be a lot harder to fake victories in the the former Blue Wall states Biden will need.

      And even if one or more of those states refused to certify a winner so that Trump didn’t get to 270, the decision would go to the states’ Congressional delegations (as in 1800), where R-dominant states have a majority.. For those unfamiliar with how this works, see Article 2 Section 1, Amendment 12, and Amendment 20 Section 3, and also read up on how the 1800 election was settled.

      The one caveat I have is this: i don’t see it happening, but if enough fraud made its way through so that a majority of the states had a D-majority House delegation on Jan 3, then it would be technically possible, with some major rewriting of laws from John Roberts and the Supreme Court, for some D-governed states to withhold certification of the presidential vote until that time, deny Trump 270, and then have those newly elected House delegations in a majority of the states vote in any one of the top three Electoral College finishers, and presumably that would be Biden.

      I’m pretty sure I’ve got all my facts straight in all that, but like I said, I just don’t see it getting to that. No way.

    10. Brad, if you're addressing my reference to Anton's thoughts, as well as Mark's optimism, I'm struck by an aspect of the little-known segment of the key para of the 12th Amend.:
      "if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the **Vice-President** shall act as President, as in the case of the death...."

      I gather this text to mean, in current likely circumstances, a Pence POTUS, unless I've missed some subsequent relevant development.

      My guess of the odds go roughly as follows:
      At most a 1/3 chance of a clear DJT win, such that the Dems lay low (unless Barr makes big busts);
      at least a 1/3 chance of a disputed DJT win, sending it to the courts or the House;
      a c. 1/6 chance of a disputed Dem win, such that it goes to the courts or the House;
      a c. 1/6 chance of a clear Dem win, such that the GOP lays low.

    11. Typo alert, for post of 6:07:
      "Yeah, Anton DOES it again!"

    12. aNanyMouse: things get really in the weeds at the point the House delegations can’t choose a Prez. It’s the Vice-Prez-elect who steps in, but we wouldn’t have one of those, either, in any realistic scenario.

      Then there’s the issue of whether Congressional races get hung up along with the presidential race. I purposely stayed away from taking things that far, though the day may come when it will make sense to game all that out.

      Hope not, though ;^>


      I agree with Anton; but, also agree that his timeline is too long.

    14. "It’s the Vice-Prez-elect who steps in".
      I don't see how there would be a Vice-Prez-elect, if there's no Prez-elect, so I read the text to mean it would be the current Veep.

      "we wouldn’t have one of those, either, in any realistic scenario."
      With even Bernie today talking about DJT not conceding an electoral defeat, I just can't see the Dems backing off now, unless their paymasters put the hammer down.
      Under current circumstances, please tell me a realistic scenario, under which DJT gets to start a 2nd term in a normal manner.

  9. Speaking of good ads, in case anyone hasn’t seen these...

  10. Another good video ad:

    1. Thanks, Mojlnir - that was a good one. I do wish that, when they showed 3 examples of people let out on bail by the MN Freedom Fund, it hadn't been just 3 black dudes. This year, finally, loads of black Americans are waking up to the anti-black destructiveness of the Democratic Party, and little details like showing only 3 black guys as the bad people get noticed. Most of these antifa fascists, and even most of the BLMers, are white, so it would've been easy as can be to put some white idiots in there, also - men AND women.

      But I digress. It was a good vid, and thanks again.

  11. There is a difference, major, between enlisted and officer in the military.


    A long time ago, my enlisted E5 self, Petty Officer 2nd Class, ET2, USN, was on a flight with an USN Navy Captain, O6, when I mentioned that historically our southern border has been porous, it is now a way for terrorists to infiltrate our country.

    He just look at me, stone faced. No response one way or the other.

    I have medals for the Gulf War and the War on Terror.

    My experience, especially with Commander 7th Fleet, is that the officer ranks are more liberal minded than enlisted, especially after Obama’s purge,

    - TexasDude

    1. I’d be shocked, TexasDude, if you were wrong on any of these counts.

    2. I agree. McNamara was entirely successful in creating a technocratic managerial class out of the Officer Corps.
      Example: A couple of years ago the Navy had three collisions in the Western Pacific involving ships with the most advanced detection and ranging technology the U.S. possesses. In each case the officers on watch testified during the inquiry that the technology had failed for various reasons, computer failure, sensor failure, whatever failure. Various excuses were advanced about parts availability and, the most laughable, sailors were being required to work hundred hour work weeks (when I was in a hundred hour work week on deployment was called Holiday Routine). As far as I can discover in no instance was a Ship's Log entry read into the record that actual MK1 eyeball lookouts were posted. Was the CIC Officer, Ops Duty Officer, or the Officer-of-the-Deck unconcerned, negligent, or ignorant of what would have been fundamental real world seamanship for all but the last 30 years of a 2000 year tradition? Bet their budget proposals were all in order/up to date.
      And don't get me started on the 2016 Farsi Island debacle. That dirt bag was supposedly the best of the best. On a fast track to O-6, or higher.

  12. from Sara Carter`s story:

    `However, FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., unlike the FBI’s 56 field offices, is incapable of appropriately storing and securing information in investigations. `

    I don`t understand that. Why wouldn`t HQ have access to the same computer systems as the field offices?

    1. I assume that's sarcasm. Of course HQ uses the same systems.

    2. Funny that NSA finds the funds to safely store millions of tetra bits of meta data of little old ladies sharing recipes on the internet but the FBI can't afford the level of records backup that the neighborhood minute-mart enjoys for credit card transactions.